Cushman & Wakefieldtoday announced the publication ofPuerto Rican Diaspora: Migration Flows to Florida and Economic Effects, a report examining the potential impact of a mass Puerto Rican migration to the U.S. mainland in the wake of Hurricane Maria.
The report, authored byChris Owen, Cushman & Wakefield Florida Research Manager, details how the widespread destruction caused by Hurricane Maria exacerbated an already dire situation on the ground in Puerto Rico and examines the role Florida will play in the U.S. territory’s recovery and the lives of hundreds of thousands of Puerto Ricans going forward.
Highlights of the report can be found below:
- Florida officials are estimating up to 250,000 people will relocate, a number that could grow by several hundred thousand more over the next year. With sizable Puerto Rican communities throughout the state, Florida is uniquely positioned to accept those displaced by the storm.
- Thousands of working-age Puerto Ricans will be arriving at a time when Florida’s economy is running at full steam. Most markets with sizeable Puerto Rican communities have unemployment rates around 4.0%. New arrivals with some skills should easily find work in their immediate areas, especially if they are bilingual.
- The impact of e-commerce and logistics firms’ growth has made it more difficult for new-to-market and expanding companies to staff up. Current dynamics have made labor availability an important aspect in any location decisions for large-scale users.
“While the effects of Hurricane Maria on Puerto Rico will be long lasting and intensify the exodus of people from the island, Florida has a unique connection to Puerto Rico and its residents,” said Owen. “The state’s growing economy and cultural diversity can provide a landing spot of opportunity for those that have left as well as a bridge for support to those who stayed on the island.”
Added Owen, “Besides the political and sociological challenges the new arrival will create, how quickly they are assimilated and are engaged in the workforce could provide positive benefits in several local markets. The existing in-place support network of family and friends will help with the transition and provide a much needed bridge for integrating people into Florida’s economy.”
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